Snow White and the Seven...? Disney says it's 'taking a different approach' to 'avoid reinforcing stereotypes' of dwarfs in classic movie remake after Peter Dinklage attacked it as 'backward'
- Disney announced it is consulting members of the dwarfism community as they continue developing the live-action remake of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
- The studio claimed it has been reimagining the dwarf characters since its earliest production stages to 'avoid reinforcing stereotypes' in the original film
- It comes as actor Peter Dinklage slammed the company for remaking a 'backward' film but applauded its casting of Latina actress Rachel Zegler
Disney has said it’s ‘taking a different approach’ with Snow White’s seven companions, after actor Peter Dinklage slammed the studio for remaking the ‘backward’ film that reinforces stereotypes.
The company - which is in its third year of development for the live-action remake of the Disney classic tale - said it has been consulting with members of the dwarfism community throughout the early stages of production.
'To avoid reinforcing stereotypes from the original animated film, we are taking a different approach with these seven characters and have been consulting with members of the dwarfism community,' a spokesperson said in a statement to the Hollywood Reporter on Tuesday.
'We look forward to sharing more as the film heads into production after a lengthy development period.'
The response comes after the Game of Thrones star blasted Disney for remaking the 1937 film and shared he was surprised by the casting of West Side Story breakout star Rachel Zegler as Snow White.
Disney is taking a 'different approach' with the characters originally referred to as the 'seven dwarfs' in its remake of its classic film Snow White in an effort to 'avoid reinforcing stereotypes'
'Literally no offense to anyone, but I was a little taken aback when they were very proud to cast a Latina actress as Snow White — but you’re still telling the story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,' Drinklage, 52, told Marc Maron on his WTF podcast.
'Take a step back and look at what you’re doing there. It makes no sense to me. You’re progressive in one way and you’re still making that f***ing backward story about seven dwarfs living in a cave together, what the f*** are you doing man?'
Disney said the film, which is still years from release, will have cultural consultants, just like its life-action remakes of Aladdin and Mulan did.
The studio also claims it has been working on reimagining the dwarf characters since its earliest production stages.
Disney did not immediately respond to DailyMail.com's request for comment.
The move comes after actor Peter Dinklage (left) expressed his displeasure towards Disney for remaking their 1937 animated classic Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. He slammed Disney for remaking the 'backward' film and applauding the casting of West Side Story breakout star Rachel Zegler (right) as Snow White
'You’re progressive in one way and you’re still making that f***ing backward story about seven dwarfs living in a cave together, what the f*** are you doing man?' he said
'Have I done nothing to advance the cause from my soap box? I guess I’m not loud enough,' Dinklage questioned.
He added he didn't know what studio was remaking Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, but he recalled, 'they were so proud of it.'
'All love and respect to the actress and all the people who thought they were doing the right thing. But I'm just like, what are you doing?' he added.
Disney - which is in its third year of development for the live-action remake of the Disney classic tale - said they have been consulting with members of the dwarfism community throughout the early development stages
The studio also claims it has been working on reimagining the dwarf characters since its earliest production stages
How Disney's classic cartoons became 'sensitive viewing'
Disney in 2020 began slapping racism warnings on some of its most iconic movies, including Peter Pan and The Jungle Book, to alert viewers to sensitive scenes.
The media conglomerate believes some of its older cartoons contain outdated racial or ethnic stereotypes, and now opens some films with a disclaimer.
It reads: 'This program includes negative depictions and/or mistreatment of people or cultures.'
Movies with warning include the 1970 musical comedy The Aristocats, 1955 canine love story Lady and the Tramp and 1960 adventure Swiss Family Robinson.
In relation to The Aristocats, Disney warns viewers about a scene where one cat, voiced by a white actor, yells out stereotypical Chinese 'words' while playing the piano with chopsticks.
Peter Pan viewers are warned that Native Americans Indians are referred to as 'redskins'. Disney says scenes in which Peter and The Lost Boys dance in native American headdresses are a 'form of mockery and appropriation of Native peoples' culture and imagery.'
The Jungle Book has also been highlighted, namely for its depiction of the ape King Louie, which was accused of perpetuating a stereotype of African Americans.
Elsewhere 1941 release Dumbo comes under fire for its references to racist segregationist laws in the deep south, as well as its use of affected African-American voices.
The lead crow in the film is also called Jim Crow - a reference to the segregation laws in late 19th and early 20th Century America.
Lady And The Tramp has been placed on the list due to its perceived stereotyping of Asians courtesy of Siamese cats Si and Am, while a dog pound features canines with largely ethnic names and accents
Dinklage has a form of dwarfism known as achondroplasia, which affects bone growth, causing him to have shorter limbs.
He said the story of Snow White can still be told, but it needs to be updated to reflect today's standards.
'If you tell the story of "Snow White" with the most f***ed up, progressive spin on it? Let's do it. All in,' he stated.
The original animated film was based on an 1812 fairy tale from The Brothers Grimm, though the dwarfs in that story lived in a cottage, not a cave.
Dinklage's concerns were shared by some charities, including the Restricted Growth Association in the UK.
'I very much stand with Peter Dinklage on the disappointment and irritation towards Disney for the remake of Snow White,' Rhonda Cutmore, a member of the association, told The Telegraph. 'As a 46-year-old woman with restricted growth, this story has always had a negative impact on me. Not just the physical characteristics, but the labelling of "Dopey" and "Bashful", were not helpful in the playground.
She added: 'People with restricted growth are in majority born to average height parents - they never live in gingerbread houses, have little bear beds nor live in homogeneous groups together.'
Dwarfism writer Steph Robson said she hoped film producers make an effort to avoid stereotypes in its retelling of the classic movie.
'It is my hope that the latest live action remake, and Disney, will, at the very least go some way to redress the decades of the one-dimensional stereotypes that our disability continues to experience, especially within arts and cultural settings,' she told the outlet.
The story has also been criticized as being ableist for portraying the dwarfs with lesser intelligence and Snow White seeing them as children.
Zegler will star alongside Gal Gadot as the Evil Queen with Marc Webb directing from a script by Greta Gerwig and Erin Cressida Wilson.
Oscar-nominated producer Marc Platt, who also worked on Disney's live-action rendition of The Little Mermaid, is set to produce the film.
Meanwhile, Dinklage will next be seen in American Dreamer with Shirley MacLaine, Danny Glover, Matt Dillon and Danny Pudi, which is in post-production.
He has a number of projects currently filming like Hitpig, The Toxic Avenger and Brothers.